24 November 2009

It Slips Through Your Fingers

Clay, that is.

I've been taking ceramics lessons for about a month now.  My very first piece was completely finished just a few days ago.

                         tea piece 1

It's a tea tools holder, in a bluish-green metallic glaze. 

size of tea tools        tea tool holders

I'd like to learn more about how shapes, materials and the application of different heat and glazes affect the tea that is brewed.  Yixing clay is special because of its high mineral content, especially of metallic elements.  None of the pieces that I will produce with the clay that I use, however, will make good tea.  Yixing clay and related types of clay are unique and will enhance oolong teas.

Short of being able to find good tea pot clay to use, my best hope for eventually being able to make high-quality teaware will be with a high-quality porcelain clay.  I generally prefer using a gaiwan anyway, so creating a thin, strong and visually appealing piece is my goal.


  1. Yes, I'd say go with the porcelain. I like the thinness of the fine cups. It denotes a delicacy fitting for good tea and its company.

  2. Absolutely! I did find a supplier of yixing clay in California recently, though I do not know whether its quality is good or not.